It’s been about half a year since I’ve sold my beloved MX-5 Miata to go essentially car-less, so here’s a bit of a report on how the public transport life have been going thus far.
A few weeks back there was a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that we are headed for irreversible climate calamity - if we don’t change course drastically - by as early as 2040, which is decidedly within our lifetimes. While there’s not much we can do individually to influence governmental policies in those regards other than vote, on a personal level the best we must do is to be as green as possible in our daily lives.
It’s fortuitous then that I’ve switched to commuting by bus this year; one less car polluting the air on already impossibly congested Bay Area roads. On the positive side it’s dramatically less taxing mentally to simply sit down (or stand) and enjoy podcasts rather than navigating the roads myself. I get to work incredibly fresh, no risk of being still angry at the idiot driver that cut me off earlier. Not owning a car also means not having to stress over San Francisco’s notorious parking restrictions and street cleaning schedules.
The one negative of riding the bus is the increased commute time compared to driving. It ends up being about 45 minutes or so daily, which is a lot of potential productivity I could otherwise be doing. Podcasts have been a lifesaver in that regard: learning via listening.
On some nights coming home from work when the bus is late by half hour, for sure I’ve entertained thoughts of immediately buying a car again. Those moments are few and far in between however; SFMTA have been providing fantastic service overall, with a predicable and reliable schedule nearly every day. A dependable routine is what I like, and commuting by bus have become just that. Indeed it would be weird if I suddenly switch back to driving.
As for my vehicular needs on the weekends, luckily I have access to the family car. For the times where it isn’t available, UBER, Lyft, or a favor from a friend is always good.
After six months of public transport life, I can say I don’t exactly miss having a car for the daily commute. Unless I move somewhere else or the job situation changes I don’t foresee daily driving making a return. At the very least, public transportation will always be the first option explored; I must do my part in helping conserve the precious environment.
It’s on the weekends where I really, truly miss having a proper sports car to toss around. Having a driving simulator at home is great and all, but nothing can replace the thrill of the real machine. I even miss the mundane ancillary parts like maintenance and detailing. This is why in another six month’s time I’ll be buying a car purely for the weekend. It’s 911 or bust.